Detox Kale Salad with Lemon Apple Vinaigrette

I have to admit…for the first twenty years of my life, I thought kale was nothing more than a garnish used to decorate plated meals and salad bars

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As it turns out, kale is actually one of the healthiest foods we can eat. It’s full of cancer fighting antioxidants, powerful phytonutrients and heart healthy fiber.

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I had some leftover from the Coconut Kale Smoothies I made so I decided to whip-up a quick salad to take with me to work for lunch the next day and I enjoyed it so much that I thought, why not share it with you lovely people?

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I’ve decided to call this bowl of love “Detox Kale Salad” because, well,  kale is crazy good for you and because I used raw apple cider vinegar in the dressing which is thought to cleanse your liver…or something like that. ;)

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Detox Kale Salad with Lemon Apple Vinaigrette

Click to Print this Recipe!


  • 1 bunch kale, removed from stem and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (preferably no sugar added)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (could also use almonds, cashews, or walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced (about 1/2 of one red onion)

Lemon Apple Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (use agave nectar for vegan version)

Makes 2 large salads or 4 small

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Wash kale and dry thoroughly before removing from stem and chopping into bite size pieces.

In a large bowl, combine ingredients for the vinaigrette and mix well.

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Add the kale to the bowl and massage the dressing into the kale for several minutes. Take your time and do it right. Trust me, the kale will return the favor.

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Once the kale has absorbed some of the dressing and is reduced in size, toss the cranberries, pine nuts, and diced red onion on top and mix together.

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Store salad for up to 2 days or serve immediately.

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The slightly sweet and tangy flavors hit your taste buds in all the right places and you will be shocked at how full you’ll feel after you’re done eating it.

It’s satisfying in a way that leaves you feeling light and full of energy, ready to take on whatever the day brings.

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Except working, no one has energy for that…


Did you eat kale as a kid?

What vegetable did you hate eating as a child? Mine was brussel sprouts. I love them now because I buy them fresh but my mom used to force us to eat frozen, boiled brussel sprouts and the thought of those things make my spine crawl. Blech. (sorry mama!)


P.S. My giveaway for a really great fitness DVD is still going so be sure to enter if you want a chance to win!

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{ 31 comments… add one }

  • Christine@ Apple of My Eye July 22, 2013, 10:07 pm

    Holy yum, that looks so good! Your photography is amazing girlie :D

  • Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness July 23, 2013, 3:02 am

    Oh yum I am obsessed with apple cidar vinegar. this looks like such a delicious summer salad! i didnt like kale either when i was younger, and i hated raw tomatoes. now i love them both!
    Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness recently posted…The Perfect Cheer!My Profile

  • Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat July 23, 2013, 3:23 am

    I love kale and it’s super healthy for you!!! I try to eat it often. This salad looks delicious! I hate brussel sprouts when I was a kid too, now I love them, especially roasted!
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted…Target Practice – Ongoing GoalsMy Profile

  • Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies July 23, 2013, 3:33 am

    My parents never really forced me to try anything that normal kids didn’t like (in fact, my parents themselves are afraid of brussels sprouts and kale!) and somehow I think that made me like them more, getitng to try them as an open minded adult. This salad looks great, love the sound of that dressing.
    Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies recently posted…Vegan “Beef” and Avocado QuesadillasMy Profile

  • Kathy @ Olives and Garlic July 23, 2013, 5:10 am

    I love adding kale to my juice every morning. It’s a true superfood. Although I do not remember having to eat brussel sprouts as a child, I absolutely adore it now. Beautiful pictures
    Kathy @ Olives and Garlic recently posted…Homestyle “Salad Bar”My Profile

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles July 23, 2013, 5:20 am

    Makes me wish that I liked kale! ;-) I was a pretty picky eater as a kid, so I’m sure that the list of veggies I hated was a lot longer than the list of veggies I loved!
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…Beating the Negative Influences.My Profile

  • Carly @ Snack Therapy July 23, 2013, 5:37 am

    Gorgeous pictures. Teach me your ways! ;). Seriously though, this looks amazing. I’ve still never made a raw kale dish, since I’m worried it’ll stay too tough and chewy. I need to get over my kale fears and make this ASAP.
    Carly @ Snack Therapy recently posted…Girls’ Weekend: Napa Part 2 + SF Part 1My Profile

  • Sharon July 23, 2013, 5:51 am

    My mom grew kale in our garden as a kid and we had it all the time. My love for kale has a loooooong history:) I’m with you on the brussel sprouts! I still am not over it…
    Sharon recently posted…Individual Veggie FrittatasMy Profile

  • FitBritt@MyOwnBalance July 23, 2013, 7:02 am

    Your photos look amazing! Great recipe! I’ve heard the same thing regarding the apple cider vinegar but I can’t remember where I heard it!

    I feel the same way about boiled brussel sprouts! Yuck! I also hated frozen green beans. Fresh ones are so much better!
    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Happy Blogiversary My Own Balance!My Profile

  • Lisa July 23, 2013, 7:38 am

    Such pretty photos, this salad looks so good.
    I totally love kale salads, it’s amazing how much different the kale tastes when you really make sure to massage the dressing in properly. So tasty.

  • Ashlee@HisnHers July 23, 2013, 7:52 am

    Yum! I love massaged kale salads especially with cranberries! It’s nice to balance the bitterness or kale something sweet.
    Ashlee@HisnHers recently posted…BBQ Black Bean PizzaMy Profile

  • Shashi @ July 23, 2013, 8:41 am

    Beautiful photos! Salad sounds so refreshing!
    Shashi @ recently posted…Superfoods Acai Blueberry Muffins!My Profile

  • Nicole @ FruitnFitness July 23, 2013, 10:16 am

    This salad sounds good! I love kale in smoothies or sautéed with mushrooms and onions but its not very often I eat it as a regular salad.
    Nicole @ FruitnFitness recently posted…Tired TuesdayMy Profile

  • Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl July 23, 2013, 12:07 pm

    This vinaigrette sounds really great! I have been wanting to try making my own salad dressings instead of relying on the bottled varieties. I like how simple and easy to this sounds to make. I’ll definitely be giving it a try.
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl recently posted…Roasted Part 10: Jicama ChipsMy Profile

  • Jenn July 23, 2013, 12:13 pm

    What a great looking salad! I love cooked Kale but have never eaten it raw!
    Jenn recently posted…Zucchini Flower FrittersMy Profile

  • Monique Bartley July 23, 2013, 12:44 pm

    You may stab me with your fork for saying this, but kale…ugh. It just tastes so vegetabley (I understand the ridiculousness of that statment). My pallet is as refined as a toddler so maybe that’s why there is so much Kale hate coming from me. For now I have to stick to hiding it in smoothies and in fresh made juice. I’m sure this recipe is delicious for the more sophisticated eaters our there!
    Monique Bartley recently posted…The Better Perfect Brown RiceMy Profile

    • Sarah July 24, 2013, 7:06 am

      Haha, you’re so funny. You can’t knock it until you try it! I don’t like the taste of raw kale either, but when you massage it with olive oil and the right flavors, it really changes the taste. Whole Foods usually has a kale salad of some sort so that would be a good place to start if you don’t want t make it yourself!

  • Becky @ Olives n Wine July 23, 2013, 1:57 pm

    Oh man…. I definitely needed this salad on Saturday ;) Seriously though, I haven’t prepped kale all summer. I think this needs to happen ASAP!
    Becky @ Olives n Wine recently posted…My Weekend in California – Napa, Part 1My Profile

  • Nicole July 23, 2013, 2:44 pm

    Yum! Like you, I didn’t eat kale up until recently.. and I’m becoming a bigger fan of it every time I eat it. Plus the thought of all the vitamins and goodness I’m getting when I eat it makes me like it even more!

    I think we have some commonalities, as I’m also a vegetarian living in the SF Bay Area! :)
    Nicole recently posted…Tofu Breakfast TacosMy Profile

  • Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run July 23, 2013, 3:05 pm

    I don’t remember eating a lot of kale as a kid, but chard for sure. I bought 2 big bags of kale this week. Kale pesto is on the menu tonight!

  • dishing up the dirt July 23, 2013, 9:04 pm

    I’m a kale lover and this salad (plus the dressing) is calling my name!!!
    dishing up the dirt recently posted…stuffed zucchini with pesto couscousMy Profile

  • Jan @ Sprouts n Squats July 24, 2013, 2:49 am

    That looks great! I haven’t been having that much Kale lately as being winter time I’ve been moving more towards soups but in the last week I’ve been doing salad again so I really should get back on the Kale train!
    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats recently posted…What I Ate Wednesday #22My Profile

  • Aly @ Return To Your Root July 24, 2013, 3:20 am

    As far as I was concerned, greens didn’t exist until I took my nutritional science (easy bio credit) course in college. Ever since then, greens have been a big staple in my diet BUT kale continues to allude me. Hopefully this recipe will help me breach the barrier! Thanks!
    Aly @ Return To Your Root recently posted…Meal Plan Monday & Late GratitudeMy Profile

    • Sarah July 24, 2013, 12:40 pm

      Kale is amazing! A little massaging goes a long way! :)

  • Melanie @ BeautifullyNutty July 24, 2013, 5:41 am

    It’s almost too pretty to eat! Almost. Gorgeous!

  • Anne July 24, 2013, 12:16 pm

    Love your pictures, you need to teach me, if I should ever start a blog :).
    I absolutely hated cauliflower and zucchini as a kid, but I loved brussle sprouts. I’m still not a fan of cauliflower now but like zucchini a little better :D.

    • Sarah July 24, 2013, 6:45 pm

      I’m such an amateur but I would try to help you as much as possible should you start a blog! Have you ever tried roasted cauliflower with lemon and garlic?

      • Anne July 25, 2013, 8:34 am

        So nice of you! No, but I’ll try sometimes and let you know how I liked it :).

  • Taylor @ greens & chocolate July 24, 2013, 4:06 pm

    That’s so funny – I was just talking to my co-workers on Monday about how they didn’t know kale was anything but a garnish before I started working with them and brought kale salads for lunch all of the time! I’m always looking for new ways to eat kale and this one looks delicious!
    Taylor @ greens & chocolate recently posted…slow cooker buffalo chicken sandwichesMy Profile

  • dawn December 7, 2014, 8:53 pm

    I hated beets and rhubarb, the thought of those two items makes me gag. My mother grew rhubarb and she made soup, pie, muffins, out of it and it was awful and I would die a little inside each time she made me eat it!

    • Sarah December 8, 2014, 9:40 am

      Oh no! Haha! It’s funny how certain memories of food can scar us for life, isn’t it?


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